How to be Safe Around a Fire - Walden Backyards

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August 12, 2019

There is nothing more relaxing than gathering with friends and family around a backyard fire pit to unwind and catch up with your loved ones while sharing the warmth and light of a natural fire.  The heat from the flames encourages everyone to draw near to fend off a chilly fall or winter night and the light casts a pleasant glow on everyone's face.

Children are especially drawn to fire and yours will surely love spending time with you while listening to the lively pop and crackle of burning logs or toasting a marshmallow for s'mores over glowing coals. To ensure your fireside chats are safe it is important to teach children and everyone gathering around the pit fire safety.

Starting A Fire Safely

An adult should always get the fire started, but children can definitely pitch in and help. The first step is to build a sturdy log base. To do this you need to stack the logs in your fire pit so that they get plenty of airflow around every piece of wood. We suggest stacking the wood in what's known as crosshatch or log cabin style. 

Placing the logs on one of our steel grates ensures a solid foundation and adequate air flow around all the wood, even the pieces at the bottom of the stack.

Starting The Fire

To start your fire use something that burns hotly, but not too quickly, so that your logs can catch fire. Some ignitors you can use are:

  • Paper
  • Kindling (soft wood)
  • Walden Sure-Fire Starter (non-toxic, 100% recycled materials)

Our Sure-Fire Starters make starting a fire simple and safe. Just place the Starter in the middle of your pile of wood, light it, and soon you'll have a pleasant crackling fire.

Never, ever, use any kind of liquid chemical accelerant to start a fire like:

  • gasoline
  • kerosene 
  • lighter fluid

The sudden explosion of flames could catch clothing or hair on fire while sending noxious fumes into the air.

 Fire Safety

To ensure everyone has fun around the fire instead of ending up in an Urgent Care or the ER with burns, these fire safety tips should be observed by everyone gathered around the fire and children should never be left alone near open flames for any reason.

Face The Flames

Everyone should maintain a safe distance from the fire and always be facing it. It might feel nice to back up close to the fire but embers and ash could float up and catch hair and clothing on fire very quickly. If you have long hair or multiple layers of clothing on you might not notice immediately.

Stoke Don't Choke

When the fire starts to die down a little stoking (moving the wood around to enhance airflow) will help bring it back to life. Never use your foot, a short stick like a piece of wood, or anything highly flammable.

Blowing on the flames will help increase air flow needed to keep burning, but sticking your face close to burning logs is a bad idea. Not only do you risk burns but blowing into the fire that closely could cause you to inhale smoke and ash. Choking on that will surely ruin the fun!

We suggest a sturdy steel poker like ours, the Walden Stoker Poker. It is 46 inches long so you can keep a safe distance from the fire and has a handy one-way built in blow valve to gently blow air into the fire without accidentally inhaling ash and smoke. With adult supervision children can learn to safely stoke the fire and keep the fun going longer into the day or night.

Fire Pits Are NOT Child's Play

The best way to enjoy your fire pit is to think of it as a time for relaxing and calm. When using your fire pit, under no circumstances should children (or adults!):

  • Ride a bike, skateboard or rollerblades near the fire
  • Throw a ball, frisbee or any object back and forth over the pit
  • Reach into the fire pit to retrieve an object
  • Toss anything other than wood into the fire

Set up a no-go zone around the fire pit when in use and all horseplay should be done from afar. A child's first instinct might be to reach into the pit to grab an object that accidentally lands in there and end up with a nasty burn on their hand or even set their clothing on fire.

Fireside Memories

It's no wonder fire pits are one of the most requested outdoor features when it comes to landscaping and outdoor home décor. They are a natural place to draw people together to share the warmth and enjoy being outdoors year-round. Observing these fire safety tips will help make your fire pit a place where only happy memories and made. Looking for more great tips and tricks on how to make your fire pit the heart of your home? Feel free to contact us today!


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